A few years ago I first observed the stark difference between the meaning of the word "need" and the way people used it in practice.
"I need a new phone."
"I need a soda."
It struck me that the way we commonly use "need" is incomplete. To simply say we "need" something, is to imply that we can't live without it. You can "need" something in order to complete a task as well, but without specifying the implication is that there is some sort of imminence.
This brought me to think, "What are our needs?" and "How can those minimally be met?"
First comes to mind food and water. These seem like the most obvious fundamentals for surviving and thriving. It would seem with such obvious importance that these elements, what we consume, would take the center stage of organizing our priorities.
Second; shelter, security. One needs to sleep, so minimally you need to know you can lose your consciousness for 6 to 8 undisturbed hours (ideally). To most of us, this seems like no great feat, but to those who are homeless, or living in areas of violence, this is a serious concern.
Once you can rule out the basics for survival, what are you left with which can be truly be called a "need." I believe here you are left with passions and creativity, and the need to fulfill outlets for those things.
In society, we pay little attention to our "needs" and have replaced them with the novelties of social acceptance and falling in line with comfortable, familiar expectations. As a result, we have to supplement our fundamental happiness, as we fall gravely short of meeting our "needs."
Looking forward, I hope to align my own priorities in respect to the needs of myself, my family, and my community. I think that by refocusing our individual priorities, we can awaken the passions and creativity within us as individuals and within our communities.
I believe this can be a fruitful and joyous process right from the start. Just realizing that we've been neglecting our own needs for clean food and water is enough to turn around your health, attitude, and start directing your voting dollars to more ethical and healthy economic venues.
From here, reorganizing your priorities will allow you to meet all those dreams and suppressed creativity to the surface where they can begin to be a source of renewed energy, solutions, and resources.
Clean, healthy food and water; a safety and security for belongings, sleeping, and gathering; creative outlets for passions. I resolve to treat these things with reverence and priority in my life.
article by: Rachel Muir
photos by: Rachel Muir